Jeff Heuchert, Stratford Gazette
A former employee of the Perth Community Futures Development Corporation has pled guilty to scamming the non-profit organization out of over half a million dollars.
John-David (JD) Graham appeared in Stratford’s Superior Court Friday and entered a guilty plea for one of eight charges of fraud against him. According to the facts read aloud in the courtroom, Graham, over a five-year period between 2006 and 2011, defrauded Community Futures of $521,852 by creating false loan accounts and depositing the money into his own financial accounts.
The Perth Community Futures Development Corporation, which today operates out of Stratford but previously had its head office in Perth East, provides business services and financing to start-ups and entrepreneurs in Perth County. Graham was acting as the organization's lending manager at the time of the fraud.
Defense lawyer Henry Van Drunen says his client will respond to the outstanding seven charges – all but one of which is for fraud over $5,000 – at his sentencing hearing on Monday, Dec. 3.
Graham was previously found guilty of fraud by the Ontario Superior Court in a civil lawsuit and ordered to pay Community Futures over $763,000.
Graham currently works at P’Lovers Eco Lifestyle on Ontario Street in downtown Stratford. The business is owned by his wife Susan.